How to live longer: 5 health risks – stopping these habits could add 10 years to your life

How to live longer: 5 health risks – stopping these habits could add 10 years to your life


Knowing how to extend one’s life is important to many people. In 1960, there was very little difference between life expectancy and the age at which a person left the workforce, particularly for men. Now men can expect to live for around 15 years and women around 20 years after leaving the workforce, which may mean enjoying a longer retirement, travelling more and seeing the grandkids grow up. Now a new study has found the major changes one needs to incorporate into their lives, which could give them an added 10 years to their lives. What are the five major changes needed to be made in order to add a decade to your life?


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Incorporating healthy habits such as regular exercise, healthy eating and not smoking or drinking may give a person an extra decade to their life, according to a new study.

Scientists said women could extend their healthy life expectancy by as much as 10 years.

And if men follow the basic lifestyle advice they could add another seven disease free years to their lives.

The study of more than 100,000 people found slim, active, non-smoking 50 year olds can expect significantly more years in good health than their unhealthier peers.

Experts from Harvard University and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences led the study, which tracked the health of men and women in the US.

All participants involved in the study were disease-free at the start of the study and were followed for more than 20 years.

The researchers of the study found the five main health risk factors for life longevity which include smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol in excess, eating a diet that is high in fat, not exercising, and being overweight.

Using these factors, the researchers worked out how many more healthy years of life a person could expect at the age of 50.


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The study found that women who had four or five of the healthy habits including eating well, exercising, not smoking, not drinking and maintaining a healthy weight, had a healthy life expectancy of 84.4 years.

This compared to 73.7 for women who had none of these habits.

For men, those who maintained healthy habits had a life expectancy of 81.8 for the healthiest men and 73.5 for the least healthy.


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What the expert said

The researchers, led by Harvard’s Dr Frank Hu, wrote in their paper: “We observed that adherence to a low-risk lifestyle was associated with a longer life expectancy at age 50 free of major chronic disease.

“It added approximately 7.6 years in men and 10 years in women compared with participants with a no low-risk lifestyle factors.

“Public policies for improving food and the physical environment conducive to adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle, as well as relevant policies and regulations are critical to improving life expectancy, especially life expectancy free of major chronic diseases.”

The study also found that men who smoked more than 15 cigarettes a day and obese men and women had the worst chances of living a life free from disease.

The scientists didn’t explain the reasons for the difference in life expectancy, but all five of the habits in the study are well known to increase the risk of dying young.

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